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How Democrats Are Helping Trump

On Tuesday, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, launched an inquiry into articles of impeachment against current U.S. President Donald J. Trump. Has she just secured Trump’s second term in office?

Sep 28, 2019

On Tuesday Sept. 24, the defenders of Democracy were on the march. Since the inauguration of United States President Donald J. Trump, the liberal wing of the U.S. Democratic Party has been calling on current Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, to launch articles of impeachment against the president. The liberal wing finally got their wish on Tuesday with Pelosi announcing that “no one is above the law” and beginning a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s actions.
Pelosi finally caved to demands to launch an inquiry after a whistleblower complained of a potentially illegal phone call between President Trump and the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. It was believed that during the phone call President Trump used Ukraine’s need for congressionally approved military aid to persuade President Zelensky to “look into” Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine. More than likely, the move was motivated by President Trump’s desire to tarnish the reputation of Hunter’s father Joe Biden, the current Democrat nominee frontrunner.
The impeachment inquiry into President Trump conjures up memories of the 1998 impeachment of Bill Clinton. Back then, the tables were turned: the Republican Party controlled the U.S House of Representatives, and the presidency was held by Democrat Bill Clinton. How events unfurled then may have a bearing on Pelosi’s initial resistance to the idea of launching an impeachment inquiry. Prior to the announcement of impeachment inquiries by then House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Clinton’s popularity had been below 60 percent.
However, once the House formally voted for articles of impeachment in late December, Clinton’s popularity reached the highest point of his whole presidency. If current events follow a similar course, it could spell trouble for the Democrats, as in just over one year the U.S. will be entering election season. Continuous discussions of impeachment may help President Trump’s popularity as they helped Clinton’s. Likewise, the impeachment process may also be to the benefit of the House Republicans.
Back in 1998, five of the thirteen House Republicans who managed the Clinton trial lost their seats in the upcoming elections, whittling down the Republican majority. Currently it is the Democrats who hold a majority in the House. One effect of the current inquiry includes seven moderate Democrats calling for impeachment, with four of these seven Democrats coming from districts that voted for President Trump in 2016. If public opinion over impeachment swings against the Democrats, they risk losing their majority in the House, and Nancy Pelosi also risks losing her job as Newt Gingrich did in 1999.
Impeachment talk also benefits President Trump as it plays on his anti-establishment, drain the swamp campaign that got him elected in 2016. The launching of an impeachment inquiry by those deemed to be mainstream establishment figures will only support President Trump’s rhetoric, that he is an outsider in Washington D.C. While Pelosi may be using impeachment to garner support from the liberal wing of her party, she risks firing up President Trump’s election base going into the 2020 election. Impeachment will deter independents who are against the kind of radicalisation and polarisation of U.S. American politics that such an impeachment hearing may come to represent. A move towards impeachment might be seen not as the upholding of the rule of law, but rather the decision of an overly zealous and belligerent Democratic party. A witch hunt will only act to force moderates into the arms of the Republican party and ensure President Trump secures his second term in 2020.
While Pelosi was shrewd in her timing of launching an inquiry she has long resisted, she may have failed to heed the warnings of the two previous impeachment processes that she has lived through. Though former President Richard Nixon resigned over charges of impeachment, many U.S. Americans were reluctant in their acceptance of such charges at the time. Likewise, it was Republicans, specifically former Speaker Newt Gingrich, that were forced out of office when they launched articles of impeachment back in 1998.
Unless President Trump is guilty of the actions which warrant his impeachment, all the gusto surrounding the Democrats launching impeachment will only sweep President Trump and the Republicans to victory in 2020.
Gianluca Campanile is a contributing writer. Email him at
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